Mapping the Chinese and Islamic Worlds : Cross-Cultural Exchange in Pre-Modern Asia
Long before Vasco da Gama rounded the Cape of Good Hope en route to India, the peoples of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia engaged in vigorous cross-cultural exchanges across the Indian Ocean. This book focuses on the years 700 to 1500, a period when powerful dynasties governed both regions, to document the relationship between the Islamic and Chinese worlds before the arrival of the Europeans. Through a close analysis of the maps, geographic accounts, and travelogues compiled by both Chinese and Islamic writers, the book traces the development of major contacts between people in China and the Islamic world and explores their interactions on matters as varied as diplomacy, commerce, mutual understanding, world geography, navigation, shipbuilding, and scientific exploration. When the Mongols ruled both China and Iran in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, their geographic understanding of each other's society increased markedly. This rich, engaging, and pioneering study offers glimpses into the worlds of Asian geographers and mapmakers, whose accumulated wisdom underpinned the celebrated voyages of European explorers like Vasco da Gama.
- Electronic book text
- 28 Sep 2012
- CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
- Cambridge, United Kingdom
- 11 b/w illus. 13 maps
Table of contents
1. From imperial encounter to maritime trade: Chinese understanding of the Islamic world, 750-1260; 2. The representation of China and the world: Islamic knowledge about China, 750-1260; 3. Interpreting the Mongol world: Chinese understanding of the Islamic world, 1260-1368; 4. Beyond Marco Polo: Islamic knowledge about China, 1260-1368; 5. Legacy from half the globe before 1492: Chinese understanding of the Islamic world and Islamic knowledge about China, 1368-1500; Conclusion: lessons from pre-modern Sino-Islamic contact.
'In this valuable book, Professor Hyunhee Park confirms the significance of Sino-Islamic contacts and knowledge of each other's societies through the unique means of detailed studies of traditional as well as recently discovered Chinese and Islamic maps. A large number of maps and illustrations are a splendid bonus for the reader.' Morris Rossabi, Distinguished Professor of History, City University of New York 'A number of studies focus on the interactions between Western and Eastern Asia before European imperial and colonial enterprises (re-)discovered these regions. However, none of them provides the broad, in-depth view of the whole period that this book provides, from the venture of Islam to the emergence of European powers in the region. It is indispensable for any student or scholar who wants to understand the interdependencies of Asian history during this period.' Ralph Kauz, University of Bonn '... it is a courageous account and may serve as an excellent introduction to this field of study.' Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
About Hyunhee Park
Hyunhee Park is an Assistant Professor of History at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, where she teaches Chinese history, global history, and justice in the non-Western tradition. She currently serves as an Assistant Editor of the academic journal Crossroads: Studies on the History of Exchange Relations in the East Asian World.